• The Consell de Ibiza plans to move the fire station of Sant Rafel to the site of the former military barracks of Sa Coma, with a planned cost of 7.2 million euros.

The institution plans to finance at least 50% of the infrastructure and in principle look for alternative ways, such as the collection of sustainable tax to fund the rest. The other option is for the municipalities to contribute half the cost of the new park. The institution also plans on creating a consortium with the five municipalities to manage the service, and request a significant increase in the economic contributions of each municipality.

According to this year’s budget, the expenditure of the fire station currently stands at 4.4 million euros (2.5 million in staff payment). In 2017, the five municipalities contributed a total of 212,000 euros, dependent on the number of inhabitants.

The president, Vicent Torres, has delivered a draft agreement with the new distribution of the financial cost of this service, although later when reporting to the media, he refused to specify the figures.

As far as the Diario de Ibiza could ascertain, the proposal is that the Consell is responsible for half of the costs and the other is distributed by municipalities according to their number of inhabitants. Thus, with this year’s budget as a reference, the Consell proposes to assume the charge of 1.8 million euros and Ibiza will contribute 638,230 euros; Santa Eulària, 470,081 euros; Sant Josep, 335,745 euros; Sant Antoni, 324,843 euros and Sant Joan, 78,091.

Two Sub-Parks

Apart from the construction of a new fire station in sa Coma to replace Sant Rafel, the Consell also projects the construction of two sub-parks to improve the response times in an emergency, with a cost of 2.2 million euros. It is also considered necessary to double the current staff workforce from 51 to a hundred, which would mean that the annual maintenance budget of the fire station will be 6.7 million euros.

The mayor of Vila, Rafa Ruiz, stressed that this proposal implies ‘a change in the rules of the game’. “We are about to improve the service, but our financial and legal services have to study it. Soon we will give an answer,” he emphasised.

For its part, the mayor of Santa Eulària, Vicent Mar, said that “nobody questions the need to improve the service”, but, apart from questioning that the constitution of a consortium is the most appropriate way to manage the service, he said that they will have to study and “profile” the economic proposal because they are “important quantities”. “We have to look at it calmly,” he added.

Transformation of sa Coma

The president also presented to the mayors the reconversion project of sa Coma a “park of services”. The Consell plans to carry out 15 projects in the old military compound to adapt the facilities for the following services: the new insular fire station, the Military Emergency Unit (UME), the 112, the Ibanat, the Official School of Languages, a hospitality school, the Tourist Observatory of Ibiza, social services, an animal recovery centre and the motocross circuit.

Also planned are the construction of a new access to Sa Coma, a car park and the legalisation of the existing perforation for its use in case of emergency.

Torres stressed that it is “an ambitious plan”. The first project to be executed is the hospitality school that the Consell presented at the last Fitur tourism fair in Madrid. The works will be put out to tender soon with the idea, according to the president, to start this year.

The School of Arts and Crafts doesn’t appear in this initial project, as the president said he is waiting for the Ministry of Education to approve the transfer. It would be located next to the Hospitality School, Torres indicated.